There has been so much news from Donald and the White House and ABOUT Donald and the White House. The administration likes some of it and hates most of it. So this episode of As The Donald Turns is aptly named “Fake News.”
• Three journalists from CNN were pushed into resignation on Monday after the network’s website had to retract their story about Trump insider Anthony Scaramucci. The article alleged that the hedge-fund manager and FOD (Friend of Donald), had ties to a Russian investment fund supposedly being investigated by the Senate. It was removed from CNN.com late last week after the network decided it could not fully stand by its reporting. They also issued a retraction and an apology to Scaramucci and the three journalists were shoved out the door; basically everything you learn about in journalism school if you do not properly source a story. That was not enough for Donald. Anything short of shutting down the entire news organization would not be enough:
@realDonaldTrump 11h11 hours ago
“Wow, CNN had to retract big story on “Russia,” with 3 employees forced to resign. What about all the other phony stories they do? FAKE NEWS!”
So his administration is in a battle over health care plans. They are stuck in the mud on any other major legislation. There are currently zero bills before the US Senate, other than healthcare. But yeah, he is focused on CNN’s personnel decisions. He was not done either; he had his own fake news to make up. With absolutely no evidence that it is true, Donald tweeted the following:
@realDonaldTrump 9h9 hours ago
“Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories. Ratings way down!”
He also figured since he was going at CNN, he may as well hit on others who do not always agree with him. In other words, everyone that is not Breitbart, Fox or Newsmax was fair game:
@realDonaldTrump 9h9 hours ago
“So they caught Fake News CNN cold, but what about NBC, CBS & ABC? What about the failing @nytimes & @washingtonpost? They are all Fake News!”
• Just in case the investigation into ties with Russia turns out to have some truth to it, Team Donald is ready. His personal PR squad, the one that doubles as the Fox News team, is on message. Once credible news reporter Brit Hume is now pontificating that even if Donald did collude with the Russians, it is not illegal. That theory was echoed by cheerleader Sean Hannity and the Morning Sofa Team in the last three days. So there you have it. Even if he broke the law, it was not illegal so let’s just end the investigation here and now. It’s all Fake News anyway.
• One of our favorite purveyors of fake news, deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, held the White House press briefing Tuesday. Sparkle Pony was part of a meeting between the administration and the GOP senators trying to fight their way to a health care bill. Huckabee Sanders got up there to sling some fake news.
• She said the Congressional Budget Office assessment of the new Senate health care bill is wrong, except for where it is right. She said the CBO is correct when it talks about how much this will drop the deficit, but it is incorrect when it talks about how many people will lose their health insurance. Somehow Huckabee Sanders failed to realize that the drop in coverage is what will cause the drop in the deficit. We are concerned that Huckabee Sanders missed some standard analysis classes in school at her alma mater, Ouachita Baptist University.
• Huckabee Sanders did not study journalism in college, but she felt qualified to speak on fake news and moved on to slamming the media. She was asked by the Breitbart stenographer why the president felt the need to pile on CNN via Twitter.
“I don’t know that it’s that the response isn’t good enough for the president. I think it’s the constant barrage of fake news that is directed at this president, probably, that has garnered a lot of his frustration. You point to that report; there are multiple other instances where that outlet that you referenced has been repeatedly wrong and had to point that out or had to correct it. There’s a video circulating now — whether it’s accurate or not, I don’t know — but I would encourage everyone in this room and, frankly, everybody across the country to take a look at it. I think if it is accurate, I think it’s a disgrace to all of media, to all of journalism. I think we have gone to a place where if the media can’t be trusted to report the news, then that’s a dangerous place for America. And I think if that’s the place where certain outlets are going, particularly for the purpose of spiking ratings, and if that’s coming directly from the top, then I think that’s even more scary, and certainly more disgraceful.”
The video she refers to is from right wing muckraker James O’Keefe who famously edited video from Planned Parenthood to make it look like directors took bribes. O’Keefe’s new video allegedly features a CNN health and medical producer apparently complaining about the cable channel’s coverage of the Russia investigation and saying it’s being done for ratings. There is no proof of the authenticity of the video or the editing, but that makes it real enough for this White House. Nothing like lecturing the White House press corps on media ethics and using James O’Keefe as your shining example of what is right.
• One reporter had enough of the media bashing. Brian Karem of Playboy Magazine took issue with Huckabee Sanders. Karem is also managing editor for Sentinel Newspapers, thus the press credential. Karem launched a verbal assault on Huckabee Sanders.
Considering the White House Correspondent’s Association has turned into cowering fools who will not stand up for the media, props to Mr. Karem.
We leave you tonight with a newly discovered piece of fake news. Donald’s Time Magazine cover. It graces the walls of at least four of his clubs/resorts throughout the world. The thing is, no such cover actually exists. Donald had someone knock off the shell of the cover and place his picture on it along with fake headlines. What’s good for the goose is apparently fake for the gander. Tuesday night, lawyers for the magazine sent Trump a letter insisting he take the fake photos down.